As a genuine learning community, we are proud to say that our students and families share a connection with Upwey South Primary School. Many of our current students are second and third generation students, with families travelling from beyond our immediate area to be a part of our wonderful school community.
1964- Official Opening Date and Student Enrolments
Upwey South Primary School officially opened on Tuesday 16th June 1964. The school was opened by HT Neil Jeffrey and was attended by 120 children in the following classes:- Prep: Mrs Warner – 26, Grade 1: Mrs Coxhill – 17, Grade 2: Miss Allen – 21, Grade 3/4: Mr Vithers – 31, Grade 5/6: Mr Jeffrey – 25.
By 1978, with the increase in student population and accommodation being very cramped in many portable classrooms, long-awaited work was begun on the “New Building”. This comprised eight classrooms, a library, an art room, additional toilets and teacher work areas. The classrooms were provided with wet areas, store rooms and shared classrooms. The design, a modified open plan with movable walls, allowed areas to be opened up for shared classes and work groups. The administration and staffroom facilities were also upgraded, with one of the original six classrooms converted into a staffroom and staff resource room, and another became the principal’s office, general office and store room. These extensions were occupied in November 1979 and officially opened in March 1980. This building is now the senior block of the school today.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was formed during 1983. The object was to have an association which would promote the development of facilities, stimulate interaction between parents and teachers, support social events and generally advance USPS. The PTA grew because of the genuine dedication of its members, and continues to play a leading role in the school today.
In 1991, the school joined an international student delegation exchange program, “International School to School Experience (I.S.S.E)”. This program has a main goal of contributing to international understanding and world peace by offering children opportunities to meet and make friends with young students from other nations. Over the years we have had exchanges to USA, Mexico, India, Japan, Peru and China.
May 1992 saw the construction and completion of the $300,00 dual purpose gymnasium and ‘safe place building’ which had represented four years of planning and fundraising. The introduction of the gym enabled many programs to be introduced to the Upwey South Primary School program, including a range of sporting activities. The Swimming Program at Monbulk Pool continued to provide quality tuition in water safety, swimming and survival skills at all levels. Athletics including track and field skills were built into the regular PE program. Over the years the school has produced teams and individuals who qualified to participate in Zone and State level competitions. Success through the Interschool Sport Competitions in Rounders, Netball, Volleyball, Teeball, Soccer and Football has seen several teams advance to Zone and State competitions. We have also had many teams have success in the McDonalds Hooptime competition since first entering the competition in 1990.
We celebrated our 30th year in 1994. Throughout the 90’s, we developed a strong curriculum program supported by curriculum programs in Library, Visual Art, Performing Arts, English, Maths, Studies of the Society and the Environment, Science, Technology, Health and Physical Education, and Languages other the English (LOTE- Japanese).
As part of the state government’s Building Education Revolution (BER), our new building ‘Forest Oak’ was opened 2011 and is now home to our Prep- Year Two students. Our P-6 curriculum was updated to be based on the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (AusVELS) framework. The CAFE Workshop approach to reading (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary) was implemented successfully from Prep to Year 6.
The 2010’s and beyond
In May 2012, Anne Ng was appointed as the new Principal of Upwey South Primary School. In 2014 we conducted our whole-school review as part of our four year cycle of school improvement. We reflected on our achievements and then agreed on our goals and priorities for the next 4 years. In 2014 we also celebrated our 50th anniversary with many special events throughout the year.
Mrs Anne Ng retired in August 2017, and Mr Damien Kitch was appointed as Principal in October 2017. Damien comes to our school community with a depth of knowledge in Instructional Leadership, most recently having been a Principal-class member at Glen Waverley Primary School.
In November 2017, the school began the initial stages of a Multimedia Space within the school library, containing a green-screen, associated editing hardware, and 3D printing technology. This addition has allowed students to engage with and create “dynamic learning”, which is defined as learning with which others can interact.
In December 2017, the Education Minister James Merlino approved a school-community partnership with 3MDR Community Radio 97.1FM. This partnership presents our students with the unique opportunity to engage with their learning community beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. Our students are regulars on the Breakfast Radio show, and also host a live-to-air show fortnightly on a Wednesday, from 2pm-3pm.
3MDR 97.1FM is housed in the historic Griffith’s Homestead, a heritage listed house which sits within the grounds of the school.
As a school, we have in recent times been working hard to build a genuine “Learning Community” and offer our students an array of extra-curricular opportunities, from artistic and creative, to sporting, to academic pursuits.
In 2018, the school is once again undergoing a School Review (which occurs each four-five years in government schools across Victoria) with a focus upon taking our school from “good to great”. The school’s curriculum is currently based upon the updated Victorian Curriculum, with new multi-disciplinary units of study to be launched in 2019 across Prep- Year 6.